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Growing up, I worked on a farm in North Dakota. But I dreamed of becoming an astronaut.
I almost got there. After college, I built satellites at NASA. I was a top candidate for the shuttle program out of Goddard Space Flight Center, but then the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster happened and I turned my focus to computer systems and artificial intelligence.
I did some applied artificial intelligence research with the Federal Government, then transferred those concepts to building trading systems on Wall Street.
Today, I’m helping build Booz Allen’s Digital Solutions business.
Jeff Fossum is one of Booz Allen's Digital Solutions leaders. He drives Digital Solutions capture, delivery, and talent management for the firm’s Finance, Energy & Economic Development business. He has 35 years of commercial and government technology consulting experience and is a recognized expert in large-scale, complex systems architecture, design, development, and operations.
Jeff is supporting several government clients, including U.S. Treasury, Department of Labor, Department of Agriculture, Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp., and the National Science Foundation.
Jeff also designed and implemented the Digital Solutions risk and quality management program to cover the more than 350 active projects providing predictable, high-quality systems for our clients. Program accomplishments include:
Jeff worked for Booz Allen for 20 years overall. He returned in 2005 after serving as chief technology officer and senior vice president of two brokerage firms, where he focused on the application of systems and advanced technology in the financial services industry.
Jeff earned a B.S. in computer science from North Dakota State University and an M.S. in computer science from George Washington University.
What path led you to your current role? I’m a technologist, but I’m also a consultant. At Booz Allen, I had a traditional client-facing consulting role for a while. Then, 5 years ago, I took on an internal role knitting together and improving our large systems development capability, now called Digital Solutions. We realized we were doing more of this work—creating new and innovative digital services—than we knew.
What’s one of the highlights of your career? The firm can now say that it’s a premier technology provider and I had some part to play in the fact that tech is the fastest growing part of our business. That’s gratifying.
What are your key approaches to managing and motivating your people? I’m inclusive and try to establish a positive work environment that gives folks opportunities to stretch. I’ve watched people who worked for me grow and move up the ranks. That’s satisfying. I regularly mentor about two dozen folks from various parts of the firm. And our technologists gravitate to me because I’m a technologist who made the journey to partner.
What was your first job? I drove a tractor and helped with the harvest on a farm in North Dakota, so I guess I was a farmer.
What’s something not many people know about you? I’m a black belt in Tang Soo Do, a Korean martial art.